The Seven Stages of Workshopping (in gifs)

It’s pretty much a rite of passage for a writer. You write something–even if it’s a story about a unicorn who belches rainbows it’s personal, for the simple fact that YOU wrote it. And then, one day you send it to a group of strangers. It feels like sending your first-born child to summer camp. But somehow, it feels more fragile than that even. Your child is sturdy and strong and can make friends. Your writing feels more delicate than that, somehow.

And then, one fateful day, you sit around a table with those strangers. In their hands they hold your words, your story, your creation. And they workshop it. They hug it. They squeeze it. They slap it around a bit. And you sit there, a fake smile plastered on your face so long that your cheeks ache. And you go through…

The Seven Stages of Workshopping

1. Detachment–“I am a professional. I am distant and have no personal attachment to this writing. Nothing said can hurt me.”

2. Hope–“But I hope they like it. I think they’ll like it. Do you like it?”

3. Anger–“You don’t like it? HOW DARE YOU NOT LIKE IT! You have no idea what you’re even talking about.”

4. Ambivalence–“Whatever.”

5. Confusion–“Wait. That’s what you thought that meant? You thought the belching unicorn was a symbol of war? I…I don’t even know what to say.”

6. Shock–“Whaaaaa?” (While this stage is similar to confusion, it is more cold and sweaty.)

7. Exhaustion–“My brain is broken. I need a nap.”


And there you have it. The seven stages of being workshopped. (I mean, sometimes there are additional stages of growth and understanding and improvement. But there aren’t any fun gifs for those.)



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